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Alabama Environmental Stewardship

We Live and Work Here

At 3M, our approach to PFAS and environmental compliance and stewardship are guided by the principles of sound science, responsibility and transparency. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been in the news in Alabama, and we want Alabamians to know that 3M cares deeply about the environment, including the areas where we live and operate. We’re part of these communities, too.

  • habitat for humanity 90th home sponsored by 3M
  • 3M volunteers working on a habitat for humanity house
  • We are committed to complying with environmental laws, responsible product handling, environmental stewardship and, where appropriate, remediation of our manufacturing sites and waste disposal locations.


Collaboration with the State

We will continue to work with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to fully implement the terms of our Consent Order, which includes responding to PFAS found in and around our Decatur plant and off-site waste disposal sites. Our remediation efforts in these areas, undertaken with ADEM oversight, have greatly decreased PFAS releases from our Decatur facility.

  • aerial view of the 3M Decatur facility

Remediation and Environmental Projects

3M has implemented a multi-layer cap and containment system covering a roughly 300-acre area on the Decatur plant site. The area is associated with the land application wastewater treatment plant sludge that contained PFAS from certain manufacturing processes. This cap and containment system can help effectively prevent these PFAS from affecting other areas.
  • 3M containment system Decatur plant in Alabama
  • 3M carbon filtration systems at Decatur plant in Alabama
  • Among other efforts, 3M has installed carbon filtration systems at the Decatur plant to treat groundwater and wastewater. These systems have helped to decrease the amount of PFAS entering the Tennessee River.  

    3M is also working with local utilities to address PFAS.


Ongoing Investigation and Remediation Activity

  • In addition to remedial actions, we continue to investigate the environmental presence of PFAS in Decatur and nearby counties. 

    We conduct regular PFAS sampling at 57 groundwater monitoring wells located around our Decatur plant, the wastewater treatment plant used by our Decatur operations and other areas. We then share the sampling data with ADEM as we work together to discuss appropriate actions to investigate and respond to PFAS. In addition, we are working with ADEM to investigate former off-site disposal locations, including three closed municipal landfills.

  • 3M groundwater monitoring Decatur plant Alabama
  • 3M groundwater monitoring Decatur area Alabama

Alabama Newsroom

  • July 24, 2020

    3M and Alabama Finalize New Interim Consent Order for 3M Decatur Operations

    ST. PAUL, Minn. - 3M and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) have announced an Interim Consent Order that resolves matters related to previously disclosed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) discharges at 3M’s Decatur, Ala. facility, and furthers the ...

    July 24, 2020 3M and Alabama Finalize New Interim Consent Order for 3M Decatur Operations
  • January 13, 2020

    3M begins preliminary soil and groundwater investigation at Brookhaven site

    DECATUR, Ala. – Jan. 13, 2020 – 3M has announced it will begin its preparations for a preliminary soil and groundwater investigation at the City of Decatur’s former Brookhaven landfill. This marks the latest step in the company’s investigation process, which was announced in late 2019.

    January 13, 2020 3M begins preliminary soil and groundwater investigation at Brookhaven site
  • November 18, 2019

    3M Announces First Results of County Road 222 Disposal Site Investigation

    3M has completed a preliminary investigation of a historical disposal site in Trinity, Alabama, and has submitted its report to Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) for review.

    November 18, 2019 3M Announces First Results of County Road 222 Disposal Site Investigation
  • April 26, 2019

    3M Strengthens Its Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

    In a joint press release, 3M and the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority (“WMEL”) announced a resolution of WMEL’s lawsuit against 3M regarding PFAS levels in Alabama drinking water.

    April 26, 2019 3M Strengthens Its Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

Alabama Newsroom


Common PFAS questions answered

  • 3M's commitment to PFAS stewardship

    What are PFAS?

    PFAS stands for a broad group of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances. The group contains several categories and classes of durable chemicals and materials with properties that included oil, water, temperature, chemical and fire resistance, as well as electrical insulating properties.

  • history of PFAS compounds (PFOS and PFOA) at 3M

    Where did PFAS come from?

    Processes to commercially produce PFAS were first developed in the 1940s. In the 1950s, 3M began manufacturing PFOA and PFOS, two types of PFAS, for product applications because of their ability to repel water, protect surfaces, resist heat and many other useful properties.

  • 3M's commitment to PFAS stewardship: health science

    What does the science say?

    While some research has indicated possible associations with certain biomarkers or health outcomes in people for PFOA and PFOS, results across studies examining these endpoints have found either inconsistent or conflicting observations and do not show causation. 3M and other leading experts around the world continue to research PFAS to look for potential health issues.


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